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I first got wind of Toronto-based outfit Parallels when they contributed two tracks, alongside the likes of HEALTH and Cheerleader Camp, to a mixed nuts CD-R comp sold on Crystal Castles' 2008 tour. I promptly forgot about them, but they've recently resurfaced with an EP on London's Thisisnotanexit sounding far more mature, emotive and, well, memorable.

Parallels is Cameron Findlay, drummer with Crystal Castles, and bewitching (read: pretty) vocalist Holly Dodson. Theirs is a moody hi-NRG disco-pop sound with EBM overtones; fans of Anne Clark. Severed Heads and Visage will be all over this. There are a bunch of as-yet-unreleased tunes currently streaming on their myspace, including lightly vocodered speed-ballad 'Dry Blood' and a demo cut of anthem-in-waiting 'Reservoir'. The EP on Thisisnotanexit is called Ultralight and features the excellent 'Midnight Voices', all tough electro arpeggios, live drums and Chromatics-style keyboard twinkles, while A-side and title track 'Utralight' reminds me of Madonna (in a good way) backed up with wicked Moroder-style analogue synth action. If there's any justice in the world this lot will be bigger than the 'Castles before 2009 is out. Fact - Fact Magazine


The two members of Parallels met in 2004, brought together by a thin, white English Duke. Yet while David Bowie won’t stake a great claim to their driven yet dreamy take on disco, it was at his concert that they both realised they shared ideas about what they thought music should sound like.

“[Since meeting] we knew that our tastes in music were similar. And we’d always play our solo songs to each other first because it was easy to be critical, and made us respect the other’s opinion. We thought that our writing styles could compliment each other’s so we began writing together [late last year]”, says Cam.

Originally conceived as a solo project, it was only after quitting his day job as live drummer for Crystal Castles and joining up with songwriter/vocalist Holly Dodson that Parallels became a fully formed band. As Cam explains, “It was a nice change from working alone and offered a new kind of creative fulfillment. We both admire artists – no matter the genre – who seem to have strong artistic integrity and good hooks.”

Good on them for following this remit too, because artists of integrity and hooks are prevalent all over tracks like Midnight Voices and Ultralight, with references to Giorgio Moroder and Stevie Nicks , as well as more contemporary types like Sally Shapiro . There’s pulsing, driven bass, glimmering synths and even twittering bits that might have been taken right out of the Halloween soundtrack . Plus Holly’s vocals are an alluring echo of True Blue-era Madonna.

Live, they bring on board Joey Kehoe from Japanese synth band Tuxedomask , which allows them to “re-create songs onstage by keeping them as true to the originals as possible, without sacrificing that ‘live’ element.” Yet aside from the imminent UK excursion (the pair are Toronto-based) there’ll be a limited 12’ on Thisisnotanexit soon, while another EP will follow with plans afoot to “get in the studio again soon”. Maybe they’ll even find time for some Bowie influences on the next one. -


To be released Fall 2009



Parallels is Cameron Findlay (Drums, Production), Holly Dodson (Vocals and Keyboards) and Joey Kehoe (Synths). Hailing from Toronto, Parallels is building a loyal following since their formation in October 2008.
Findlay is the former drummer of Canadian Electro group, Crystal Castles. While on tour, Findlay spent much of his free time recording demos of what would later become the foundation for Parallels’ current repertoire. In 2008, he emailed Dodson some of the half-finished songs he had been working on, and through email they co-wrote their first single “Ultralight”. Findlay returned to Toronto at the end of CC’s 2008 tour, and formed Parallels which he intended to be his main focus. Dodson and Findlay continued to write more material, and released “Ultralight” as a 5-song digital single on iTunes later that year.

They had known Joey Kehoe through friends and approached him to join their project for their first show, opening for Glass Candy (at Wrongbar in Toronto, November 7th 2008). Kehoe has been active in the Toronto music scene for a few years, writing and performing with Tuxedomask, his solo project. Kehoe is now an important player in the Parallels project with his musical contributions to their live shows as a highly skilled keyboardist.
Parallels has shared billing with established bands such as Fan Death and Sebastien Tellier, and will be opening for Broken Social Scene at The Toronto Harborfront’s Beats, Breaks, and Culture festival on July 11th. They will also be performing on the same stage as Crystal Castles at TIME Festival, on July 25th also in Toronto. Parallels recorded the material for their first EP at Marigold Studios in Toronto, which was released on Thisisnotanexit Records in London, England entitled “Ultralight”. The vinyl contains “Ultralight”, “Midnight Voices”, and “Dry Blood”. It is distributed by Thisisnotanexit in the UK, and by Marigold Productions in North America and was Now Magazine’s, Critic’s Pick (NOW, vol. 28, no. 41, June 10-17, 2009) They have received rave reviews from music blogs such as Discodust, 20jazzfunkgreats, The Music Fix UK, FACT Magazine, Clash Magazine and Dummy Magazine as well as Exclaim!, and Toronto’s NOW Magazine, the Toronto Star, and 24 Hours.
The band is spending the summer playing locally, and recording material for their first album, to be released in the autumn of 2009.